How to start a dropshipping business In Australia (Part 2)
A lot of businesses you see on social media are actually separate entities who are dropshippers without their own product stock. They are the middle people, the intermediaries who connect suppliers to customers via their own branding, reach and advertising.
Dropshipping is a mutually beneficial business model that has created a buzz in Australia, so if you are rightly thinking that this could be an exciting and rewarding prospect for you, let’s look at how it can be established.
- Commit – Stickabiity!
Once you have decided to become a dropshipper, it’s important to understand that it’s a tree that bears fruit in the long term. It’s not necessarily a get-rich-quick scheme. You will need to commit, and work hard. Your biggest spend will be time.
- Choose a product/product category – Hot products, an awesome idea??
Unless you’ve already had that white-hot lightbulb moment, where you just know you have the right product for NOW, you’ll need to make decisions about a product to sell based on market research – just the way you would if you were selling from a physical bricks-and-mortar business. To make things easy for beginning entrepreneurs, Shopify publishes a list of trending products based on the top selling product categories on their platform, and in addition supplies rationale based on google trends data, as well as helpful suggestions about how to market each individual trending product/category. By focusing on more niche and trending products, you’ll draw the attention of shoppers and gain traction without competing with larger, established businesses.
- Research Competitors – keeping an eye on the biggies!
Dropshipping is a highly competitive market saturated with sellers for similar kinds of products, and where everyone is claiming best quality or best price or something similar. You’ll need to keep an eye on the ten best performing competitors. Watch their social media pages, subscribe to their email newsletters, and analyze their sales/product strategy. We cannot stress enough, the importance of being on your toes regarding what your competitors are doing. Keep current.
- Registering your store – practicalities!
You need to come up with a name for your online store, if you haven’t already done this. Choose your domain and hosting provider, and set up your website, probably using an Australian domain extension. If you’re doing business in Australia, the best choice is to register a “.com.au” domain name, given its solid reputation and level of trust among consumers in this country.
Next get an Australian Business Number (ABN). (This is an easy and inexpensive process, by the way, if you have never done it before). When you have your ABN, you can register your business’s name, through the Australian government site www.business.com.au. Another useful site is the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, www.asic.com.au
- Making your website and using an ecommerce platform – Out of the box or otherwise??
The next thing on the list is making a website on an ecommerce platform like Shopify. There are many ecommerce platforms to choose from, we are using Shopify here as an example, and it is easy, “out of the box” and good for newbies. But a bit of research will soon have you comparing Shopify with others such as Wix e-Commerce, Oberlo, Ebay, and many more, that might in fact suit you better in terms of your own skills and creativity.
An ecommerce platform supplies the page where you send all your customer traffic, sell products, communicate with customers, and process transactions.
Shopify makes it easy to build and launch your ecommerce website. It’s a complete commerce platform that allows you to sell in multiple places, sell in multiple currencies, and easily manage products and accept payments.
- Finding suppliers – who’s out there?
Register in directories that help you contact suppliers. Oberlo is a marketplace that makes it easy to find products to sell online. Whether it’s electronics, fashion, toys, or other trending items, you can find products with good profit potential from dropshipping suppliers around the world and add them to your store with one click. Once you have decided on the supplier/wholesaler, you can talk about product types and other details for everything they will potentially be providing to you.
- Finishing up
Finally, make your choices about your first product or products, and add them to your page on the ecommerce platform. Decide on your selling price.
And just like that, your business will be live! Congratulations!